Despite the constant sellouts and large crowds, Lucha VaVoom has always flown somewhat under the radar as far as wrestling fans go. With its mix of burlesque and wrestling where the fun of the match is more important than the outcome, the shows might not completely appeal to the same crowd that is into PWG or even WWE. Still, with the show’s frequent attendance by people in the entertainment industry, who then go on to bring lucha libre to an even wider audience by including elements of it in popular culture, Lucha VaVoom deserves a ton of credit for helping to spread lucha libre into the greater culture. For that reason, I was very excited to see that a documentary film about the promotion was on its way.
Lucha VaVoom: Inside America’s Most Outrageous Show is a new documentary film by Ben Churchill that takes a look at the promotion as it gets ready for one of its events. While quite a few wrestlers and entertainers are featured in the documentary (including the always awesome Poubelle Twins), most of the documentary is told by spotlighting six people who are probably a good representation of the different parts of a Lucha VaVoom show.
To represent the lucha libre aspect there is Cassandro, Marawa is the roller skating hula hoop master, Rita D’Albert is a co-owner and does burlesque, Joey Ryan covers technical and comedic wrestling, Karis Wilde is an androgynous dancer, and stand-up comedian Blaine Capatch is on the commentary team.
While I personally was already familiar with Joey Ryan and Cassandro’s stories, I was intrigued to learn more about the burlesque world. My only real exposure to it has been through Lucha VaVoom over the years, but I’ve always imagined it being a lot like independent wrestling, with its own fans and own stars who travel to different cities working different shows. If there is one place I really thought the documentary could be better though it was covering the burlesque aspect. The film did a good job giving a background on lucha libre, even explaining hair and mask matches, but the background on burlesque was barely touched on, at least as compared to the wrestling.
The behind-the-scenes stuff was great. One moment that I particularly liked was seeing the Joey Ryan, Amazona, Nikki, and Candice LeRae working out a match before the show, and the huge smile on Candice’s face the whole time. Having talked to wrestlers who’ve worked at Lucha VaVoom over the years, they almost always talk about how much fun they have there. The smile on Candice’s face in that segment really sold that point. The performers seem to be having as much fun as the fans.
Overall, I really enjoyed this. The film was fast paced with lots of action clips throughout and plenty of comedy. It felt like it did a great job of capturing the fun of Lucha VaVoom as well. I was obviously familiar with the product going in, but I think even if I wasn’t it would make me want to see more of it.
There is nothing else like Lucha VaVoom out there. Lucha VaVoom: Inside America’s Most Outrageous Show is more than worth checking out for a look at a show that is truly unique in wrestling.
The film is available now on Amazon to rent or buy and will be coming to iTunes and Google Play soon.